Open Cluster Planets And Constraints On Planetary Migration (speaker: Sam Quinn, Georgia State University)

Friday November 20, 2015 2:00 pm


While it is generally accepted that short period giant planets did not form in situ, several different mechanisms (e.g., Type II migration, planet-planet scattering, Kozai-Lidov cycles) may contribute to shrinking planetary orbits, and the relative importance of each is not well-constrained. Migration through the gas disk is expected to preserve circular, coplanar orbits and must occur quickly (within ~10 Myr, before the gas dissipates), whereas multi-body processes should initially excite eccentricities and inclinations and may take hundreds of Myr. Subsequent evolution of the system (e.g., orbital circularization or inclination damping via tidal interaction with the host star) may obscure these differences, so the properties of planets soon after migration occurs can observationally constrain the importance of each mechanism. Fortunately, the well-characterized stars in young and adolescent open clusters (with known ages and compositions) provide natural laboratories for such studies, and recent surveys have begun to take advantage of this opportunity. I will review the discoveries in this emerging realm of exoplanet science and the constraints they provide for giant planet formation and migration, and then I will look ahead to upcoming opportunities to study planetary migration and cluster planets, highlighting the anticipated contribution of the TESS mission.

Please note location — conference room 33-206 across the hall from Aero/Astro headquarters (33-207)